how to make pancakes

How To Make Pancake

This simple recipe will become your go-to for making fluffy pancakes from scratch.


To keep pancakes warm while you cook, place them on a baking sheet or oven-safe platter in a 200 degree oven until you’re ready to serve—it makes all the difference.

How to Make Fluffy Homemade Pancakes Every Time

  • Use fresh ingredients. Check your flour and baking powder to make sure they haven’t expired or gone rancid.
  • Don’t over-stir. When combining your wet and dry ingredients, stir only until you no longer see any dry spots of flour. Over-stirring will make pancakes tougher (since gluten develops in the flour) and less fluffy (which happens when leaveners release bubbles).
  • Let batter rest. Resting about 10 minutes allows the leaveners to continue to work their magic, creating and expanding into thousands of tiny pockets of carbon dioxide. The fluffier the batter, the fluffier the pancakes.
  • Start with a hot surface. Allow your skillet or griddle to fully heat up before you add batter.
  • Make a test pancake. This is your practice run to gauge and adjust the temperature and cook time. Peek frequently at the underside to check if the pancake is browning at the right pace.
  • Don’t press the pancakes. It’s tempting to press down on the pancakes with a spatula after flipping, but this will result in a dense, gummy pancake.

What to Serve With Pancakes

Butter, maple syrup, confectioners’ sugar, honey, jams, preserves, sweetened whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and fresh fruit are all delicious toppings for homemade pancakes. If you’re feeling creative, try Mixed Berry Compote, Banana-Caramel Sauce, Lemon Curd, or Orange Spiced Syrup.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Assorted toppings, such as butter, maple syrup, confectioners’ sugar, honey, jams, preserves, sweetened whipped cream, or chocolate syrup


  1. Gather ingredients and preheat oven:

    Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Have a baking sheet or heatproof platter ready to keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven.

Step 2

Mix dry ingredients:

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Step 3

Mix wet ingredients:

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, butter (or oil), and egg.

Step 4

Combine wet and dry ingredients:

Add dry ingredients to milk mixture; whisk until just moistened. (Do not overmix; a few small lumps are fine.)

Step 5
Heat and oil skillet or griddle:

Heat a large skillet (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium. Fold a sheet of paper towel in half, and moisten with oil; carefully rub skillet with oiled paper towel.

Step 6

Spoon batter onto skillet or griddle:

For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet, using the back of the spoon to spread batter into a round (you should be able to fit 2 to 3 in a large skillet).

Step 7

Cook first side:

Cook until surface of pancakes have some bubbles and a few have burst, 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 8

Flip pancakes:

Flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Step 9

Serve immediately, or keep warm in oven:

Transfer to a baking sheet or platter; cover loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm in oven. Continue with more oil and remaining batter. (You’ll have 12 to 15 pancakes.) Serve warm, with desired toppings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make pancakes ahead of time?

Yes, you can make pancakes ahead of time. We don’t recommend making them ahead of a more formal weekend brunch, since they taste best when hot off the griddle. Prepping a batch for quick weekday breakfasts, however, is a good idea; reheat as many as you need each morning.

Can I omit the sugar?

Most pancake recipes use only a small amount of sugar (our recipe has 2 tablespoons of sugar for four servings). Even this small amount plays an important role in the batter. You can omit sweeteners, but your pancakes will be rubbery in texture.

Can I use water or dairy-free milk instead?

Alternative or dairy-free milks can replace dairy milks in pancake recipes. Choose an unsweetened option; replace the exact amount of dairy milk called for with your favorite alternative milk. You can use water, but the resulting pancakes will be less rich and flavorful.

Can I use gluten-free flour or whole-wheat flour instead?

Our Easy Basic Pancakes recipe was written and tested using all-purpose flour. If you use a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour mix, you’ll get a good result; these flour blends are a direct substitute for all-purpose flour.

Whole-wheat flour is different. Substituting whole-wheat flour for all-purpose flour in our Easy Basic Pancakes recipe will result in a thinner batter; pancakes will also spread more in the pan. This flour also produces a different pancake color and taste—you may detect the whole wheat, while pancakes made with all-purpose flour are neutral in flavor. Once you slather them in butter and maple syrup, however, no one will notice a difference. (You can also make the pancakes with half all-purpose and half whole-wheat flour—a ratio that offers the best of both types.)

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